How many hours of sleep did you get last night? Five? three? or maybe you did not sleep at all last night. It’s only normal to spend nights watching something or reading or just staying up chatting with friends. Basically doing anything but not sleeping.
Why people are not getting enough sleep?
Why waste time sleeping when you can do so much right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but sleeping is often seen as time wasted, lost forever.
There are proverbs that warn you about being left behind while sleeping. Practically in every language, there are idioms like caught napping or burning the midnight oil. So those who want to make something of themselves in a life cut down on sleep.
An average adult sleeps for 6.8 hours a night. The national average in Japan is 5 hours and 59 minutes. Saudi Arabia 6 hours 8 minutes, Sweden 6 hours 10 minutes, India 6 hours and 20 minutes. Do you know these numbers can kill us?
Science says an average adult needs to sleep at least seven and a half hours every night.
In these seven and a half hours a person completes five 90-minute sleep cycles. during these cycles, your brain moves from deep non-rapid eye movement sleep to rapid eye movement sleep. the first couple of cycles are dominated by non-rem sleep. it cleanses and maintains our body brain and heart. the next set of cycles are needed for processing and learning all the information that we’ve gathered throughout the day.
If you’re having trouble recalling names, information, or trivia, blame it on your sleep or lack of it. Seven and a half hours per night is the recommended amount. America’s center for disease control is a little more practical it says seven hours or more.
Now that we know how much we should sleep the next question is when should we sleep? can we complete our sleep quota in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings too?
Here’s what science says:
People are at their sleepiest at two points: in the day between 1 pm and 3 pm and between 2 am and 4 am.
The best time to go to sleep is between 8 pm and midnight. Early to bed early to rise gives a man his dose of vitamin D. The Vedas say we should wake up around 330 a.m it’s called the Brahma muhurta, the time of the creator. But this is impossible in the world that we have created for ourselves. most of us work shifts or late into the night.
What happens if you’re not sleeping enough?
Sleep deprivation is linked to physical health problems like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes. studies have found that lack of sleep is also linked to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. researchers at Hong Kong university conducted a study, they found discernible DNA damage in those whose sleep was disrupted even for one night. experts say this may help explain the link between cancer and sleep deprivation.
Mental health problems
lack of sleep is linked to anxiety and depression. South Korea and Japan rank the worst when it comes to a good night’s sleep. It so happens that South Korea and Japan also have the highest suicide rates in the world. Japan has the phenomenon called ‘karoshi death’ caused by lack of sleep.
Do you know we also put on weight if we don’t sleep well? king’s college London conducted a study in 2016. it found that sleep-deprived people consumed an average of 385-kilo calories extra per day. that’s an excess of four and a half slices of bread every day.
A study was carried out by researchers at the Pennsylvania state university this is as recent as 2019. researchers studied people in their twenties. half of the volunteers got regular sleep the other half slept less than five hours each night. The sleep-deprived lot ended up feeling less full than the others after eating a high-fat meal.
Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that explain the link between sleep deprivation and obesity. Leptin tells the brain that you’re full. Ghrelin urges you to eat more. Sleep-deprived people have low levels of leptin and high levels of ghrelin.
Sleep deprivation is also linked to a lack of productivity. if you don’t get enough sleep you’re groggy at work. it’s also hard to concentrate. as a result, people end up being less productive.
The united states lose the equivalent of around 1.2 million working days per year because people are not sleeping enough. In Japan around 600 000 working days are lost. In the UK and Germany, the number becomes 200 000. This loss affects your country’s GDP. These numbers are according to the RAND corporation and this is something that India should be looking at closely. You know why?
Because in India staying back late at work and sleeping less is regarded as professionalism.
So here’s the moral of the story
So far sleep deprivation is helping no one except the market. Brands are capitalizing on a lack of sleep, on our habits.
Now brands are promising sleep. They come bottled in the form of lotions, candles. It comes in paid apps, that play sleep-inducing sounds.
Sleep today has become a product, in fact, a luxury product. The sleeping tech device market is worth over 10.9 billion dollars. 48.5% of this is held by the insomnia segment. The market is expected to grow 16.6 percent by 2026. This market is being fueled by our sleeping patterns and our habits.
50% more women use sleeping trackers regularly compared to men. More and more people start their day by checking their fitness bands.
Do you know? falling asleep takes around 10 to 15 minutes. But if you manage to doze off within a few minutes, it means that you are sleep-deprived.
Till around 1880 people were sleeping an average of 10 hours a night. Thomas Edison then invented the light bulb. 141 years later, we also have phones, laptops, and tablets. most of us are scrolling through them before going to bed. These devices emit blue light which boosts the production of cortisol in our body and makes it difficult for us to sleep.
Have you been sleeping well? Have you been sleeping enough? Who are we giving excuses to?
Our web series can be paused, late-night conversations can happen in the morning too. Work, career, and dreams can take some rest because if we don’t sleep, how will we dream? By the way, do you know why do we dream?